Summer has arrived, bringing the good weather which means long and dry days for lots of riding, clean and dry horses and no rugs. Unfortunately it also brings its share of problems so here are a few things to look out for NOW.
Water - make sure your horse has a constant supply of clean water. Water is essential to life. Horses can survive for some time without food but will dehydrate and die in days without water. The hot weather means they will drink more to replace that lost through sweating. Horses can drink an average of 36 litres of water per day and this can increase to 68 litres if the weather is hot! Water troughs also become dirty more quickly in the summer and so need cleaning out more often.
Hives, or Urticaria can be a problem in the summer months as they are often an allergic reaction to pollen, bites or extreme temperatures. Although most hives will disappear by themselves if they are causing distress it is worth calling the vet to try and identify the cause and perhaps give some medication.
Fly bites can cause considerable distress to a horse. The flies bite and pierce the skin and then feed on the horses blood and are attracted to blood, saliva, tears and mucus. I stable my horses during the day to keep them away from the worst of the flies. You can try sprays and there are some good rugs available now - but Basil always wrecked his within a week so I stopped buying them!
Conjunctivitis can be transferred by flies. The membrane (conjunctiva) is inflamed and if left untreated damage can be permanent. Fly masks are useful to prevent this problem.
Worms - it is probably time to do another worm egg count, I did mine a few weeks ago now and then had to worm Tommy!
Sweet itch - this will continue to be a problem throughout the next few months.
Laminitis - the grass has been late to grow here but the rain and warmth in the last couple of weeks means that it is now growing rapidly.
RAO - we are coming up to the time when Basil has started to suffer in the last few years. When I had him he had no breathing problems at all, unfortunately it is getting worse each year.
Ragwort - now is the time it starts growing strongly and can appear practically overnight so keep an eye out for this dreadful plant.
Have you seen last week's video 'Summer Routine Time' on my You Tube channel?
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Until next time!